Longview businesses, residents affected by High Street Bridge sinkhole detour

Longview businesses, residents affected by High Street Bridge sinkhole detour
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:10 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:40 PM CST
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Longview, Texas (KLTV) - The City of Longview is repairing a sinkhole discovered on the High Street bridge last week just as work was to begin on a two-year TXDOT bridge rebuild. The bridge is located between Nelson Street and Marion Drive.

Crews worked to fill the large sinkhole with a mix of concrete and sand. They used a trench box to help the pour stay in place. The city says the sinkhole was the result of a leaking storm drain which slowly eroded dirt under the bridge. The bridge was shut down last week while the city worked on the issue.

“This is a maintenance issue as far as just repairing something that when it breaks it’s something that these crews have to do all the time. But we also have a long-term project here to totally redo this bridge. And that’s being done by TXDOT. So, city crews are working with and are already in communication with TXDOT to talk about how does this impact the project that they’re doing, and how we make sure that we do this work in conjunction with them,” Hara said.

TXDOT plans to work on the bridge one side at a time so traffic can still flow over the bridge. But it is shut down completely while the sinkhole is being repaired. Traffic is now routed east and then back west through a residential neighborhood. KLTV talked with those living in the area to see how the detour is affecting them.

High Street is part of the main north south corridor through Longview, so it sees plenty of traffic. And for now, it’s routed around the shutdown High Street bridge. The detour is on Nelson and Fredonia streets and Marion Drive. Annie Porter has lived on Marion about two decades and says she’s never seen traffic like this.

“I can’t back out of my driveway. I have to try to back in to even get out,” Porter said.

And others living in the residential neighborhood are having problems with the same thing. Across the street Leroy Hammond and his wife have a small daycare.

“We turn around before we leave out. We have parents that come to pick up their kids. They have to back out, most of them. So, it’s a problem for them,” Hammond said.

“But this is just like living directly on High Street,” Porter said.

Hammond says he hasn’t seen any wrecks since last week’s detour.

“Since all the traffic it’s actually slowed down as far as miles per hour,” Hammond said.

They both say traffic increases when you think it would.

“Work traffic time, you know, people going to work. You’ve got people that are going south to work, you’ve got people that are going north to work,” Porter said.

“People got to get to where they’re going, and if they have to take a detour, well, who am I to say they shouldn’t come through here,” Hammond said.

The owner of Neighborhood Mart convenience store at Nelson and High said he has had a slowdown in business since the barricades went up.

The city says the detour should only last for a few more days while they repair the sinkhole on the High Street bridge.

We checked with Longview ISD to see if busing students had been delayed by the bridge closing. They say the city notified them that it was coming, and the district was able to adjust routes so buses were running on schedule.